Mission Statement


Despite significant advances, too many policy decisions are still based upon rigid adherence to fixed ideas, limited information, political power, and irrational emotions. Behavioral Economists (see https://www.behavioraleconomics.com) have demonstrated our capacity to block critical information and to fall into a variety of traps in numerous contexts.  They show how we can be locked-in with total confidence to suboptimal paths.

Although cost benefit analysis and other evidence-based frameworks for rational decision-making are being applied in more and more situations, these tools play too little a role in too many decisions--partly due to the time and funds required to implement good studies, and partly due to the power of the countervailing forces mentioned above. In addition, when these frameworks are applied the end-products generally omit significant factors or provide questionable estimates--rendering them to the dustbin of history, unless they happen to support positions of powerful proponents.

Researchers have produced thousands of useful studies and dozens of computer models. Yet too often they are not utilized by decision makers. We have worked for more than 25 years to collect as much relevant information as is feasible, to analyze it rationally, to reconcile differences, and to disseminate it cost effectively in a manner easily understood by as many people as possible.

We fulfill these ends through information systems, most notably the ACB Computerized Cost Benefit Analysis System, our acclaimed newsletter, Environmental Valuation & Cost Benefit News, and statistical models/data analytics. Our computerized cost benefit analysis system brings together the results of many studies, creates common denominators, and uses "meta analysis" to reconcile differences in results.

Many advocates exaggerate negative consequences of existing or proposed policies, programs and projects and threats.  Others downplay serious dangers.  We attempt to provide objective facts regarding the actual situation and likely prospects.

Information can also help bring to light the many instances where economic and ecological goals do not collide.

As society faces increasingly complex uncertain challenges these tools will be needed more and more. Recent court decisions, proposed and enacted legislation, and regulatory orders indicate that measures of costs, benefits, and risks are being required in the future to justify public and private actions. Our mission is to help insure that these measures are brought to bear upon problems quickly and effectively and to resolve conflicts to produce maximum benefits.

These methods have been applied to a host of problems including sprawl, acid rain, global warming, endangered species, threatened watersheds, contaminated real estate, and much more. They can play a much greater role in the future.

EV&CBN brings you the latest information on valuation of environmental damages from the courts, from government agencies, from the academic literature, and from unpublished studies. Recent court decisions, proposed legislation, and regulatory orders indicate that measures of costs, benefits, and risks will be required in the future to justify public and private actions.